Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Gym Buddy

Now that fall is upon us it's getting too dark to run outside in the morning. So the last couple workouts I've done have been at my little gym (an Anytime Fitness place). It's not like a full on gym with aerobics classes and a pool. Just basic stuff, treadmills, elliptical, bikes, weights, etc... It's really not your typical gym crowd either. No hard bodied super athletes, just your average people trying to make time to work out. My gym seems especially popular with the retired age crowd. It's awesome to see some of these older people coming in and getting their exercise. One fellow is there every morning at the same time I go. I'm guessing he's in his late 70's, but man he's still going strong! He comes in there and power walks on the treadmill for 20 minutes or so, then he does a little weight routine, then comes back to the treadmill, and back to the weights.

Anyway, I've ended up running by him a couple times and the other day I came in and before I could get my headphones on he turned to me and said, "So, ya come to run another 10 miles again?" I just smiled and laughed (since I've obviously never run 10 miles on a treadmill) but then he kept talking. "What are you, like a marathon runner or something?" Well I'm not gonna lie, that felt really good to hear that! Someone saw me running and thought I was a marathoner? He can definitely be my friend! I mean, yeah, I did run 1 marathon but sometimes I still don't feel like people would see me running and think, "wow, she must be a runner." It was definitely one of those "look how far I've come" moments. I totally remember running next to people at the gym and seeing them crank out high speeds or lots of miles and being like, "Wow! Now that person is a runner!!" Guess now people (well, at least my little gym buddy) think that of me.

Anyway, this morning I was back at the gym and of course he was there. He said, "So what's the work out gonna be today?" I told him 5 miles and he smiled and said, "well get to it!" So there you have it. Darker mornings and colder weather force me to run indoors, but at least I have my gym buddy there to make the experience a little bit brighter. : )

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's happening...

I think it's happening, it's still early yet to tell, but I think I'm becoming a morning person!! I'm trying not to get too excited yet because I haven't sustained the early morning habit for 21 days, which apparently is the magic number to make habits stick. Still, last week I was doing early morning workouts all week, and this week I'm 2 out of 3 days for getting up at 6am. Holy cow! If I become a morning person can you just imagine all the possibilities? On Monday I got a taste of the awesomeness of starting my day early. I got up at 6am and did 5 miles at the gym. I listened to conference talks while I ran so I felt like I was getting a double whammy of strengthening body and spirit at the same time. I finished around 7am and then went grocery shopping! I did a HUGE shop, got everything I needed for the whole week. It went so fast without the girls and then I got home at 8am and 3 of the biggest to do's on my list were already DONE before the kids were even awake! So what did I do with the rest of my day? Ran errands, took Teya to the dentist, super cleaned my house (closets and everything!) mopped floors, scrubbed bathrooms, the works. I also made a fabulous dinner (courtesy of the crock pot) and when Taber came home he was blown away! Yes, I think getting up early has some serious perks, now if I can just teach myself to get to BED early, then I think this is really gonna stick!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Told ya I'd use it!

3 years ago I was still trying to lose baby weight after having Teya and I told Taber I really really wanted a jogging stroller. He'd never seen me run more than a mile, maybe 2, and certainly not on any kind of consistent basis, so he was pretty hesitant. His sweet Mom knew I wanted one though so she bought me one as a gift. I think Taber was pretty glad HE hadn't paid for it because during those first 3 years it was sadly only used a handful of times. Well things have changed and that little stroller has been logging some serious miles lately!! Now that Teya is in preschool twice a week I'm taking advantage of that time to do a little running with the Brinster. On Tuesday I pushed her for 6 miles in that thing and today I ran 4 with her. You see Taber? I told you I would use it!!

Bonus: Every time we get going that bumpy ride puts her right to sleep. It's a great way to give her a morning nap without having her sleep so long that she won't go down in the afternoon. Yay for stroller naps! (and cute sleeping babies : )

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One last hoorah!

After a long and frustrating ordeal with his knee injury Taber is back and running strong again. He had a great race in the Ragnar and felt so good coming out of it that he decided to work towards a full marathon again. He's shooting for the Whistlestop Marathon in Ashland, Wisconsin, coming up next month on Oct 1oth. The last couple of Saturdays he's been doing long runs and did a nice 15 miler last week. His knee still isn't 100%, so he's taking things nice and slow and doing a lot of stretching and icing. He's looking good though and if worse comes to worse, they allow you to switch to the half marathon if you get injured and can't complete the full. So yeah, either way I think we're heading to Whistlestop next month for one last hoorah before the running season ends!

With Taber digging into marathon training we've had to do some juggling so we can both get our runs in. Not that I need to do 3 hour training runs but I still want to keep up my distance running because I'm shooting for one more half marathon at the end of Oct. So I've had to improvise a bit and do more early morning runs and running with the kiddos. We have a single jogging stroller that I use with Brinely while Teya is at preschool twice a week. Last Sat though Taber was out running and I wanted to get out there before the whole morning was gone. So I squeezed them both into the single jogger and we set out. I did around 5 miles and it was very slow with the 60lbs of extra weight to push!! The girls did so good though and by the end they were both fast asleep on top of each other. Taber met us and took some pics. Aren't they sweet?

So yeah, I'm excited for Taber and happy that running is really becoming a part of our lifestyle now. The trick will be making it through the Minnesota winter...We'll let you know how that goes : )

Monday, September 14, 2009

Split Personality

How is it that I can have such drastically different personalities residing in the same body? On one hand there's the part of me that got up at 5:30 this morning and ran 5 miles pushing myself hard. On the other hand there's the part of me that ate 2 brownies after a huge lunch and is having a hard time keeping the other 2 that are left away from my black hole of a mouth. If I can ever get my athletic side to overcome my gluttonous food addict side I will be soooo buff!!! Until then, I think of all the calories I consume everyday and am thankful that at least part of me DOES like to run : )

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

This is how my brain works at night

I'd like to post a coherent stream of my thoughts on running tonight, but I don't know if that's how they will come out since it's 11pm, I've been up since 6, and other than that one crazy weekend of the Ragnar, my brain simply doesn't work well at night. But, I'm staying up to keep Taber company while he works on a project so I figured I might as well blog right? So here we go, I'll just start letting my thoughts pop out and if I have time I'll connect them.

My abs are sore. My bum is sore. My inner thighs, quads, calves, triceps, and shoulders are all sore. I did an exercise DVD yesterday and today called Slim in 6 by Debbie Siebers (found on the beachbody website) I've done it before and didn't think it would be that bad, but since I've been neglecting all my other muscle groups my body now feels like I got hit by a train. This is good for me though. Good to remember that running, while great for your heart, lungs, and legs, is not a full body workout. I'm going to start trying to mix it up a little more and on the days I don't run do more toning exercises to work the rest of my body.

I got up at 6am to workout this morning. Remember how I said maybe I could be a morning person? Well today marks 3 days in a row of getting up at 6am to workout. If I do it tomorrow after staying up late I will REALLY start thinking this could happen. I could really turn into a morning person!! Oh man that would be AWESOME! I'll keep you posted....

I did two workouts today. Slim in 6 in the wee hours of the morn and then I did a 3 mile run during my babysitting swap with Darci. Remember how I said I want to be fast? I wasn't too fast today. I think my insanely sore muscles were slowing me down. It felt like I was running in water, seriously! It's weird how running works. Some days it's almost effortless and you just fly through it, other days it's like cutting through molasses the whole time! (that was a weird analogy, but like I said, it's late)

Fiber One vs. Fiber plus. Any thoughts here? I'm a Fiber One girl, but then I heard about Fiber plus and how written right on the box it brags "Tastes better than Fiber One!" Well I tried it, and I'll tell you what it tastes like, a hybrid between a chocolate chip cookie and a rice crispie treat. Is that what I want in a health food? No thank you. When I eat a Fiber One bar I'm good for hours. After eating a Fiber plus I was not satiated, and ended up eating two in a row. So now when I was hoping for a 120 calorie snack I end up eating twice that and feeling like I spoiled my dinner! So yeah, I'll be sticking with Fiber one.

That's about all I got right now. Hoping to do another 3 miler tomorrow with the jogging stroller. I wonder if pushing that thing makes my arms buffer? Maybe...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Morning run

This morning, on Labor Day holiday, I, Becca Rigg, woke up at 6am, to dutifully do my run so that Taber could go play football at 8am. I would like to mention that I am NOT a morning person, and that holidays (or days when Taber doesn't have to work) are usually days that I try to sleep in. But because I love my husband, and because I love to run, I made the effort to drag my reluctant tooshie out of bed for a morning sweat session. Hats off to all you people who work out this early every day. It really was beautiful, and the cool weather was nice to run in. I ran 7.5 miles, looped around Rice Lake and came back and circled Wal-mart. I would love to have the discipline to get up early and do that everyday. Who knows, I willed myself to run a marathon, maybe I can will myself out of bed before dawn on a regular basis. We shall see...

My favorite new running songs

Recently I've been running to some new songs that are rocking my workouts. I know everybody gets pumped by different types of music, (like I know a gal who loves to run to opera, and Taber loves to listen to audio books) but I thought I'd share this for anyone who possibly gets pumped to the same stuff I do.

Let the Drummer Kick-Citizen Cope
Angel (clean version from my best 10K album)-flipsyde
Battlefield-Jordin Sparks
Promontory-From the last of the Mohicans soundtrack. Seriously LOVE running to this song!
The Distance-Cake

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A new kind of endurance

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I would love to be fast. Training for the marathon I was focusing mostly on endurance and teaching my body to reserve energy and pace conservatively so I could make it to finish line upright. Since then I have still remained cautious in my pacing, even on shorter runs, just because in the back of my mind I feel like I need to have extra gas in the tank. But now that all my long distance races are over I want to get fast! (oh yeah, and remember, fast is relative for me, I'm shooting for anything under an 8 minute mile, including a 7:59 mile)

I was talking to a girl who is on the cross country team at her junior high and asking her what they do in training to work on speed. She told me about mile repeats. I'd heard the term before but never really read up on what they are. Well on the Jr High level you basically just jog easy for a half a mile then run hard (8:15 min/mile for the jr high kids) for a mile, then jog easy for a half, then run hard again for a mile. Jr. high kids only do 2 hard miles in their repeats. Now the varsity high school kids do 4 mile repeats at a 6:15 pace. HAHA! Yeah, I'm definitely not ready for varsity, but I figured I could do a jr high workout well enough so last night I gave it a try.

I had to do it on the treadmill since once again my workout got put off until night time. Still, it was nice because I could track the distance and pace very easily. So here's how it went:
-jogged 1/2 mile at a 10 min pace (6mph on the treadmill)
-ran 1 mile at an 8 min pace (7.5 mph)
-jogged 1/2 mile at a 9:13 pace (6.5 mph)
-ran 1/2 mile at a 7:30 pace, cuz I was feeling cocky(8.0 mph on the treadmill) but then I almost died so I went back down to a 8 min pace (7.5) and finished the other half of that mile.
-jogged at 9:13 pace for half a mile
-ran at 8 min pace for half a mile

Total miles: 4 miles
Total time: 33:57 minutes

When I was running my hard miles I felt like I was teaching my body a new kind of endurance. Not enduring distance, but pain. I just kept thinking, this hurts, but I know I can do this for a mile. I'm just not used to sustaining the burn, I usually work out at a pace that I can still carry on a conversation at. Even if I there had been someone to talk to I wouldn't have been able to say a word. Maybe I could've grunted out "help!" or "save me!" but that's about it.

Uncomfortable as those fast miles were, I really liked working out like that! It definitely made me work up a sweat and I just felt really good after. So yeah, my goal for the next two months is to work on mile repeats, speed intervals, and tempo runs. Then I'll sign up for a 5K and see if I can't get a PR. This should be fun! (well, in a sick and kind of masochistic way at least : )

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

He was right, I was wrong...

Yesterday was a crazy day and I knew I wasn't going to be able to get a run in until the evening. By the time we got the girls to bed it was past 8, and already dark outside. I wasn't too worried. I mean, I ran at night during the Ragnar, I really didn't think it was a big deal. Taber however was very concerned. He reminded me that at the Ragnar I was wearing a reflective vest, flashing LED lights, and being shadowed by a biker and a van. This was different. The path I was going to run isn't well lit, in fact, it gets pitch black in places. Taber knew this very well since he's run it at night several times. I had only run it in the day though I just couldn't' imagine it being as dark as he was telling me. He urged me to run a different route that would involve 4 laps around Wal-mart. I knew that route was much better lit but the thought of running in circles just sounded blah to me. So I told him I wasn' t afraid of the dark and that I was going the other way. When he saw I had my stubborn mind set, he asked me to at least carry a small flashlight and my phone. "Deal" I said. And headed out the door.

DUMB DUMB DUMB! Less than 5 minutes into my run I knew I should've listened to Taber. It was soooo dark and creepy out there. I coudn't even see the trail at some points, and my flashlight (aka laser pointer with a teeny tiny light bulb) didn't help much. After I reached 1 mile I was running past some dark woods and I just got the sickest bone chilling feeling that I was not safe. I pulled out my phone and put my finger on the botton to speed dial Taber should anything happen to me. Sick feeling didn't go away and I started letting my mind get carried away imagining all the scary things that could be hiding in the woods waiting to attack me. I was thoroughly freaked out so I ditched my original plan, turned around and starting high tailing it back home. I ran sooo fast! I wish I had my watch on to check my pace because I'm positive it was the fastest I've ever run. I ran up the hills at full speed, letting the adrenaline push past the burning in my lungs as I ran for my "life." I finally made it back to our well lit neighborhood and started off towards Wal-mart to run the trail I should've started with in the first place.

I don't know if anything would've happend had I kept going in the dark, but I'm glad I didn't stay to find out. The sad truth is, we live in a world where people (especially women) are not always safe to go out alone at night. I know I won't be doing it again, ever! If I have to run at night I'll call a friend or go to the gym. I am thankful that the spirit warned me to turn around. I'm also thankful for Taber's warnings and next time I will just listen to him and avoid scary lung burning workouts that cause my life to flash before my eyes. : )